Category Archives: Culture

Peter Skellern – co-performer of songs of gentle mockery

I was sorry to hear of Peter Skellern’s death. I knew of him only from his partnership with Richard Stilgoe. Together they wrote and performed wry, gently humorous songs with good tunes. This is not really about Skellern (there is … Continue reading

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Bring back the hobgoblin and foul fiend

The idea was to use this blog mainly as a place to drop things of interest as they passed by – things seen on my travels or picked up in the papers or on Twitter, plus photographs, quotations and the … Continue reading

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The influence of Richard III and Dave Allen on the Archers

An unpleasant man hands a woman a sharp instrument and winds up on the receiving end of it. A 1970s television sketch based on Shakespeare’s Richard III was there long before Helen Titchener stabbed Rob I gave up listening to the … Continue reading

Posted in Broadcasting, Culture | Leave a comment

Well how much is porn on the Internet, Jacqui?

Everyone is a bit puzzled as to why former Home Secretary Jacqui Smith chose to tell us about her ignorance of the porn industry. One would have thought that she would try and avoid headlines which included her name and … Continue reading

Posted in BBC, New Labour | Leave a comment

Tom Stoppard’s message to Gordon Brown

I went to hear Sir Tom Stoppard speak this morning at the Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival. I usually come away from such a session with my notes in my head, confident that I can do a reasonable précis from … Continue reading

Posted in Culture, Education, Language, New Labour, Oxford, Politicians, Theatre | Tagged | Leave a comment

Paul Schofield as Salieri

I only once saw the late Paul Schofield in the stage, but the memory is more potent than any other theatrical experience. One Saturday in 1979 I got up early and drove to the National Theatre to queue for tickets … Continue reading

Posted in Culture, Theatre, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Now where is the News from the BBC?

I don’t know what was more infuriating about this evening’s BBC News, the presentation or the stories themselves. It kicked off with a long exposé about Bulgarian baby-selling, complete with film from hidden cameras, dramatic-sounding appointments late at night, and … Continue reading

Posted in BBC, Broadcasting, New Labour, Oxford, Police | Leave a comment